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Evaluating the performance of software distributed shared memory as a target for parallelizing compilers

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4 Author(s)
Cox, A.L. ; Rice Univ., Houston, TX, USA ; Dwarkadas, S. ; Honghui Lu ; Zwaenepoel, W.

In this paper we evaluate the use of software distributed shared memory (DSM) on a message passing machine as the target for a parallelizing compiler. We compare this approach to compiler-generated message passing, hand-coded software DSM and hand-coded message passing. For this comparison, we use six applications: four that are regular and two that are irregular: Our results are gathered on an 8-node IBM SP/2 using the TreadMarks software DSM system. We use the APR shared-memory (SPF) compiler to generate the shared memory-programs and the APR XHPF compiler to generate message passing programs. The hand-coded message passing programs run with the IBM PVMe optimized message passing library. On the regular programs, both the compiler-generated and the hand-coded message passing outperform the SPF/TreadMarks combination: the compiler-generated message passing by 5.5% to 40%, and the hand-coded message passing by 7.5% to 49%. On the irregular programs, the SPF/TreadMarks combination outperforms the compiler-generated message passing by 38% and 89%, and only slightly underperforms the hand-coded message passing, differing by 4.4% and 16%. We also identify the factors that account for the performance differences, estimate their relative importance, and describe methods to improve the performance

Published in:

Parallel Processing Symposium, 1997. Proceedings., 11th International

Date of Conference:

1-5 Apr 1997

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